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Fundraiser helps goalkeeper, 12, train with Lionesses

Jess holding a football
Jess, 12, was invited to take part in a Lioness training camp, but needed funds for travel and accommodation [BBC]

A 12-year-old goalkeeper, who dreams of becoming the next Mary Earps, has secured specialist training after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Jess, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, had been earmarked for the Lionesses' talent pathway in London, but was told she would have to pay for travel and accommodation.

Mum Andrea, 50, who is no longer able to work as a nurse after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, put out an appeal on Facebook, which raised the £500 needed to send her daughter to the camp over the summer.

Jess, who will train with England Women’s U16 coaches, said: "I want to be a Lioness."

She currently plays for Gateshead Redheugh Red Roses.

"We can’t thank people enough for helping us people we don’t even know us have donated in support of Jess," her mum said.

"Jess has ADHD which is on the autism spectrum and playing football has completely changed her life, it gives her focus and we’re told she has a real talent which is only given her more confidence."

Andrea Scott
Jess' mum, Andrea, says football has changed her daughter's life [BBC]

Having played at a junior level in the North East since 2022, it was recommended that Jess seek out specialised training to help her progress as a goalkeeper.

However, her mum said that level of support often comes with a cost.

"Unfortunately, getting top tier goalkeeping training costs money and you often have to travel down south," she added.

"It is a constant worry [but] I just want Jess to succeed."

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